Tanabata poem (covid edition) (a poem)

Every year for the last few years, I have written a poem to mark Tanabata. Here is this year’s installment.

As we remain here, locked away
we look for signs
in hopes that the stars will align
bringing us together this day

In my mind’s eye
I see her looking back at me
one of us wanting to be free
but not knowing what that means

I once took the train ride
on the spur of the moment
counting on the element of surprise
only to find
nobody was home

I headed back home
surrounded by Madonna t-shirts
and the fans of travelling idols
the surprise unsprung
the day shot

And there, hundreds of miles away
and thousands of miles from home
I fell asleep, alone

In my mind’s eye
I see her
I see me
I see sleepy faces in dark rooms
lit by bright screens
speaking in real feelings

I was once elsewhere
lost in the tumbling
unable to see the end of the tracks

I felt the loss
so I grabbed the lifeline
and held on

And I hold on

Across time, place, and memory
one connection frays
one connection clings
and the whole thing intertwines
in this restless mind

To tell the truth
I’ve never seen the bridge
I don’t know if it’s really there

But I believe
that when the stars align
though the world may be on fire
it will be

(7 July 2020)


Wishes sometimes have consequences is available to order from your favorite local bookstore.

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